francisco diaz & deb young, finalist of the may 2017 edition

Please scroll down to read the Project Statement and see the images.

This is a collaboration project being done by Deb Young (New Zealand) and Francisco Diaz (US).

When Deb Young was a teenager, a photographer friend took snaps of her family. They were dressed in muslin and flares and the shots were taken outside in the back yard. Back-lit and black & white, she was mesmerized by the romantic, almost rock-star feel of those back yard, hippie shots. Her passion for photography came to life when she was given the opportunity to work behind the scenes on the publication of New Zealand Photography Magazine.

Young’s work has been featured in such prestigious online photography magazines as Lenscratch, Musee, Visual Artbeat, PH Magazine and F-Stop. Along with her collaborator Francisco Diaz, Young has been signed to both the Susan Spiritus Gallery and Gilman Contemporary Gallery.

Though born in the U.S., Francisco Diaz's heritage is Cuban/Spanish. His predilection for artists like Goya, El Greco, and the still life work of Juan Bautista de Espinosa may come from that background. Childhood years were spent in Brooklyn on Coney Island.

Diaz’s work has been featured in such prestigious online photography magazines as Lenswork, Feature Shoot, Dodho, Adore Noir, Silvershotz and Hi-Fructose.

Project Statement, The Playground Series

“Childhood, like old age, is a riddle we spend our entire lives trying to solve. Our boyhood and girlhood selves so often lurk like shadows long after we’ve grown up; they follow us, but the moment we try too hard to touch them, to pin them down, they slip away. It’s that secret, ambiguous quality of being little that photographers Francisco Diaz and Deb Young, who together form The International Collaboration Project, are reaching for with The Playground Series.

The playground is the one place on earth where the dynamic flips and the children are in charge; adults are, at the very most, spectators. The youngsters determine what’s up and what’s down, who’s the hero and who’s the villain, who gets to play and who’s relegated to the back corner. It’s what Diaz and Young call the “mysterious, innocent complexity of playground society.” Writer Ellyn Kail